Vegetarian Enchilada Stacker

October 16, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Some may think that eating vegetarian meals requires making fussy gourmet recipes every night of the week…in reality, it’s far from it. We vegetarians are just like everyone else where sometimes we want to eat good and eat good NOW. Even more so, it’s getting to the time of year where I want to come in out of the chilly air, spend just a few moments in the kitchen, and then immediately get in my jammies. I’m constantly looking for warm, filling and easy easy easy recipes to make.

This enchilada stacker recipe is an easy weeknight meal that converts to some fantastic leftovers for lunch the next day. I whipped up some homemade enchilada sauce (seriously, it’s super easy) and then got to work quickly layering some ingredients I had on hand. While the pie was cooking in the oven, I had just enough time to get my jammies on…and it was time to eat!

Vegetarian Enchilada Stacker
by Megabeth

  •  6 whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 15.5 oz can black beans)
  • 1 8 oz package seitan chicken strips, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (use a combo of monterey jack and cheddar cheese)
  • 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce

Coat bottom of glass pie pan with cooking spray (or, drizzle a small amount of olive oil to lightly coat the bottom).

Then add the ingredients in the following order (spread evenly):

– 1/2 cup enchilada sauce

– two tortillas

– 1/2 of the seitan

– 1/2 of the black beans

– 1/3 of the cheese

– two tortillas

– 1/2 cup enchilada sauce

– 1/2 of the seitan

– 1/2 of the black beans

– 1/3 of the cheese

– two tortillas

– 1/2 cup enchilada sauce

Put the tortilla stack in an oven preheated to 400 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cheese on top of tortilla stack. Place back in oven until cheese is melted  – about 5 minutes.

See, told you…easy easy easy!

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) Tacos…Wait, what the heck is TVP?

December 06, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Article, Main Dishes

Oh, no. Now I’ve done it. I’ve gone and used Textured Vegetable Protein. It’s one of those “scary” vegetarian ingredients that just from the very sound of it, carnivores begin to shudder and convulse. But, we vegetarians and vegans know that 1) it’s not that scary and 2) it’s a great and nutrient rich ingredient and 3) it’s an important staple to have on hand.

First things first, what the heck is this Textured Vegetable Protein or TVP? Simply put, TVP is defatted soy flour that’s gone through an extrusion cooking process to become dehydrated little nuggets or flakes.

Cooking with TVP couldn’t be easier. You heat up some water and put the TVP in the pan. Then the TVP soaks up the liquid and reconstitutes itself.  It can also be thrown in the pan with other “juicy” items and it will soak up the cooking juices and reconstitute itself that way, too. (Note, however, that there are many kinds of TVP so check out the package instructions on how to prepare it.)

Here’s some of Bob’s Red Mill plain TVP prior to cooking:

TVP

Here’s plain TVP after cooking:

TVP

Many folks swear by the dehydrated TVP when they head out camping. It’s light and doesn’t take up much room. After a long day of hiking, TVP packs a punch in getting protein into your system.

There are many ways to use TVP as it soaks up whatever flavors you put with it. Throw it in some chili to add some bulk and see if meat eaters can tell the difference. There are many different kinds of TVP available in different textures and flavors that you’ll never run out of things to do with it.

Still think TVP is weird? Well, did you know that many of the “imitation bacon bits” that you eat are made of TVP?

So, now that you know a little more about TVP…let’s get cooking. This recipe for TVP tacos is from the Vegetarian Journal and, as presented, it’s vegan. It’s very straightforward but you can easily build on it by putting mushrooms, corn, and beans into the mixture. If you’re vegetarian you can add some shredded cheese and perhaps a little dollop of no-fat greek yogurt. I’ll definitely make this the next time we go camping. In fact, this recipe was so easy to make that I’m going to teach my in-house taste tester how to prepare it. I think even he can handle it.

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) Tacos
Vegetarian Journal, Issue Three 2008

2 cups water
2 cups Textured Vegetable Protein
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup taco seasoning (commercial blend of chili powder, cumin, and black pepper)
1 cup salsa
10 corn tortillas

In a large skillet, heat the water over medium heat and add the TVP, stirring well. Allow the TVP to reconstitute for 2-3 minutes.

TVP

Add oil and then taco seasoning, stirring well.

TVP

Allow to cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Mix in salsa and remove from heat. Serve wrapped in tortillas.

Oaxaca Tacos

June 20, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

I think I’m in love with these tacos. Why? Well, although they are made with such simple ingredients they are packed with complex textures and flavors. They are made with a smear of mashed potatoes, sprinkled with red pepper cheese, and a dash of diced red pepper. Be prepared to  make a bit of a mess deep frying the corn tortillas, but it’s worth it. Once cooked, these Oaxaca Tacos are a perfect match with black bean stew and a little dollop of lime creme fraiche. Now, I just have to figure out how to pronounce “Oaxaca” correctly…

Oaxaca Tacos
from Cafe Flora Cookbook

1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and quartered (approx 3 large potatoes)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded, smoked mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
(I used a pre-shredded, four cheese Mexican mix)
Big pinch red pepper flakes
Vegetable oil for preparing tortillas
8 thin corn tortillas (I had enough to fill 10 tortillas)
1 small red or green bell pepper, seeds removed and cut into fine dice
toothpicks

Lime Creme Fraiche
1/2 cup creme fraiche (I used greek yogurt)
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zet
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Pinch of salt

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the creme fraiche, lime zest and juice, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Prepare tacos.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (Note: I preheated the oven after I finished cooking the potatoes.)

Put the potatoes in a pot with water to cover. Cook them, covered, until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. (The time depends on the size of the chunks.)

potatoes for oaxaca tacos

Drain the potatoes well, and mash with the butter and salt. Cool completely.

potatoes for oaxaca tacos

In a small bowl, mix the cheese with the red pepper flakes, and set aside.

Heat 1/4 inch oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, put a tortilla in the hot oil and fry until it is soft, 8 to 10 seconds; flip and repeat with the other side. Do not let the tortilla get crisp by letting the oil bubble up around its edges; reduce the heat to medium-low or low if this occurs. (It’s important for the tortillas to be oil so they get crisp when roasted in the oven.)

tortillas for oaxaca tacos

Put the tortilla on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Continue to heat tortillas, piling them one atop each other under the foil cover. (Keep the tortillas warm so they’re pliable enough to stuff and roll without breaking.)

Place each tortilla on a flat surface.

tortillas for oaxaca tacos

Using a 1/3-cup measure, put a scoop of mashed potatoes in the middle of each tortilla.

potatoes for oaxaca tacos

Pat the potatoes with your hand to flatten them a little.

potatoes for oaxaca tacos

Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the bell pepper…

red peppers for oaxaca tacos

and 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture.

oaxaca tacos

Roll the tortilla into a large tube so both edges overlap (but the end s are still open), and fasten with 1 or 2 wooden picks as if you were sewing with them.

oaxaca tacos

(Ok, in the spirit of full disclosure,  I should have “sewed” the tortillas parallel to the fold because when these tacos cook they expand a bit; thus, busting the whole taco open. Most made it out ok, but a few still opened up but they were easy to close again.)

Put the filled tortillas in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet, toothpicks facing up. Bake until the cheese has melted and the tortillas start to brown and crisp around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes.

oaxaca tacos

Serve the tortillas by puting 1/2 cup of the Black Bean Stew on  a plate. Remove the toothpicks from the tacos. Drizzle 1 or 2 tablespoons of the Lime Creme Fraiche over the tacos, and top with a tablespoon of feta. (Feel free to also throw some chipotle salsa on the plate and some greens drizzled with fresh lime juice and olive oil.)


Lazy Dinner: Black Bean and Chipotle Goat Cheese Burritos

May 09, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Black Bean and Chipotle Goat Cheese Burritos

This burrito was created on the fly based on what I had sitting around. I was hungry and not in the mood to put an effort into either cooking or cleaning up. Even though these burritos were easy to make, the flavors were complex and delicious. This will definitely become one of my new “go to” meals. My in-house taste tester declared these burritos, “good good good good good!” So, I guess they were pretty durn good.

Black Bean and Chipotle Goat Cheese Burritos
by Megabeth

1 15.5oz can organic black beans, drained
1 sweet potato
2-3 T goat cheese
1-2 teaspoons chipotle hot sauce
4 whole wheat tortillas

Pierce sweet potato with a fork, place on a plate and cook in microwave for 4-5 minutes. Flip over about halfway through cooking. Cut open and set aside to cool.

Heat black beans in microwave for 2 minutes or until hot.

Place goat cheese in small bowl and add hot sauce to taste. Stir to combine. Of course, the more hot sauce you add, the hotter it will be so add a little and test to see if it has the “heat” you’d like.

Wrap tortillas in paper towels and heat in microwave for about 15 seconds.

On one half of the warm tortilla spread some of the goat cheese mixture. On other half, spread some of the sweet potatoes. Add black beans in the middle.

Black Bean and Chipotle Goat Cheese Burritos

Wrap into a burrito…and eat!

Black Bean and Chipotle Goat Cheese Burritos


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